Media Relations

Policy Number: I.19
Policy Level: Operating Policy

Originally Issued: November 12, 2015
Revised: November 14, 2017
January 7, 2020

Policy Owner: President
Policy Implementation: VP for University Advancement

I. Policy Statement and Purpose

The Office of Marketing and Public Relations is the primary media relations source for Athens State University. All public relations, marketing and advertising activities will be coordinated through this office.

This policy is to ensure that Athens State University is represented with a consistent message and to provide specifications regarding interaction and communication with the news media.

II. Media Queries and Response Procedures

The Vice President for University Advancement serves as the official spokesperson for the University. The day-to-day responsibilities have been delegated to the Director of Public Relations. All public relations and publicity matters related to official statements, news releases, or media interviews should be coordinated with the Director of Public Relations.

Athens State University faculty members are often asked to speak with the media on topics related to their area of expertise. In such cases, faculty members are encouraged to do so and are free to contact the Director of Public Relations for assistance if necessary. It should be understood that opinions expressed in such cases are solely those of the individual and do not represent the “official” position of the University. Any requests for official University statements must be forwarded to the Office of Marketing and Public Relations.

III. Alabama Freedom of Information Act

Athens State University complies with the Alabama Open Meeting Laws and Alabama Public Records Law provided under Al. Code §36-25A-1 et seq. and Al. Code §36-12-40 et seq. The Open Meetings Law guarantees that Alabama’s citizens have open access to agencies, boards, commissions, and other governmental bodies which conduct the people’s business. Closed Meetings include attorney-client meetings, discussions where “character or good name” of a person is involved, and grand jury and juvenile proceedings.

IV. Alabama Public Records Law

The Alabama Public Records Law grants citizens the right to inspect and copy public writings. Pursuant to the statute, every citizen has a right to inspect and take a copy of any public writing of the State, except as otherwise expressly provided by statute. Exempt from this law are documents relating to banking, juvenile court, hospital, probation reports, identity of Medicaid recipients reports of suspected disease cases, and tax and financial statements. Any request shall allow for a reasonable time period to compile the information, and the requester is responsible for any charges incurred for the information. Full information may be found here:

V. Responsibility for this Operating Policy

Policy Owner

As part of the initial approval of this policy by the President and subsequent to the original dissemination of the policy, the President is the policy owner for the ongoing evaluation, review, and approval of this policy. Subsequent reviews and revisions to this policy must be in accordance with approved operating policy procedures and processes.

This policy will be reviewed every two years or more frequently as needed.

Responsibility for Policy Implementation

The President has assigned the responsibility of implementing this policy to the Vice President for University Advancement.